Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Bin Ramke, Ph.D.
Literary pastoralism, Psychedelic plants, William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Aldous Huxley
My Masters thesis offers literary pastoralism as a viable entry into the conversation on psychedelic plants and their use in mind-alteration by the industrialized West. I will, first, establish that the ancient pastoral tradition can be related to the existence of psychedelic plants, and that the use of such plants has inspired a deeper communion with various levels of the natural world. Next, my analysis focuses on parallels between pastoral literature and accounts of psychedelic hallucinations, which are often comprised of ultra-pastoral visions of landscapes, arabesques, and even cosmic space. These similarities suggest that psychedelic plants initiate a peculiar and remarkable pastoral encounter with what becomes a non-natural, industrial reality. The question of obtaining a more cerebral relationship to an abandoned natural world is examined in literary figures including William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, and Aldous Huxley. A review of the ties between the cerebral and the natural throughout these authors' psychedelic and pastoral works will open our own 21st century doors of perception to a new literary mode uniting the two disciplines.
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Amy Nicole Buck
Received from ProQuest
Buck, Amy Nicole, "An Introduction to the Psychedelic Pastoral: Tracing Mind-Altering Plant Life into the Modern Industrialized West" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1154.